Four to five years may seem like a long time, but compared to the rest of your life it’s a very small fraction of time. The time will fly by and it is very easy to miss out on some of the best parts about college and end your college career with a sizeable amount of regret. Opportunities to make friends, gain career experience, and chances to learn more about yourself stand a good chance of being lost if you don’t take active involvement in campus life. Speaking as someone who didn’t take this advice, here is how you can make the most out of your University of Wyoming experience.
RSO stands for Registered Student Organizations and are the student clubs that cater to a multitude of interests, including Greek life, politics, religion, gaming, sports, professional development and many more! Joining one of these will connect you with people who share a love of the things that you do, and you will naturally develop a group of friends that can extend far beyond your RSO meeting times. Future roommates, future significant others and lifelong friends all can be found here. Plus, it gives you something to do and gets you out of your dorm room. It also offers an opportunity to have a true college experience.
Take electives that cater to your creative interests.
Electives are the classes that, while are required, are totally dependent on what you want to take. Are you an engineering student with a secondary passion for dance? You can take a dance elective. Are you a biology major with a talent for creative writing? Take the class and start adding to your creative portfolio. College is a time for you to develop into the person you want to be, and the richer an experience you make for yourself the happier you will be. You may find a new interest after taking an elective class or even change your degree.
Talk to the people next to you.
The classroom can be a very lonely place when it’s just you in a crowd of other students. If you find yourself falling into routine where you sit in the same spot next to the same person every day, then it is more awkward to sit there in silence for hours each week than it would be to make small talk. Break the ice with a question like, “Did you do the reading for today?” or, “How did that last essay go for you?” Simple things like this can open up a class-long dialogue, and that lonely classroom becomes a little less lonely. Having class- or major-only friends is perfectly acceptable because you can get a study buddy out of the deal, which can give you a boost in your grades and understanding of core content.
UW hosts a variety of speakers, performances and other exciting events for students. It’s easy for a person to fall into a peer-pressure trap and only go to events that your group of friends wants to. But, contrary to popular belief, it is fine for people to be alone and go to things they are interested in solo. If it interests you, don’t deprive yourself and miss out on a guest speaker discussing a topic that you are passionate about or miss out on the cultural festival because you won’t have anyone to sit with. Inviting your friends is something you can always do, but don’t let it be the deciding factor of your own attendance.
Keep career-boosting opportunities in the back of your mind.
Having a degree says a lot to a perspective employer, but your hands-on experience with that degree shouts the message. You can gain this experience through participating in internships, volunteer work or anything else that you can use to give you a leg up in your career field. UW’s Center for Advising and Career Services can assist you in finding these opportunities and also help figure out what you can do with your completed degree. Opportunities can also be found through your student email and the various bulletin boards across campus. Start on these as early as possible, and you will be ready to take on the world!